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Llangollen weekend 2023

Llangollen trip 2023 review. Well what a weekend it turned out to be! Lots of rain, flooded roads and rivers and stranded people! There were 28 of us booked for the weekend trip. Unfortunately, Kenny was unable to make it after his car broke down then got submerged overnight in rising water near his house. Ben was next to fall victim to the flooded roads and sadly didn’t make it either. Carlos and Helen then decided not to come up Friday with rising river levels near their home and Ollie and Adam R had car troubles so abandoned their journey not long after they set off from Worcester. On Friday with Chris, Ed, Connor and Elise went up early to paddle the Aberglaslyn Gorge which was a grade 4/5 river. I think it's fair to say they all had their fair share of adrenaline that afternoon paddling. They came and meet us at the pub that evening for a well earned beer and food. After back at the hostel the coaches discussed the paddling options for the next day and it was decided that as we had different levels of paddlers there would be a paddle on Lake Bala and one on the Conwy. Saturday, after everyone was fed with bacon and sausage baps for breakfast, a briefing in the carpark we split into our 2 groups and off we went. My group the went to the Conwy were we met up with Ollie and Adam R after they managed to drove up early that morning in a different vehicle. We looked at the get out then drove to the starting point and after a quick car ferry we were ready to paddle. The river had a good flow on it and after a safety brief we split into 2 groups. I was nervous about paddling as I haven’t done any white water for a while. However, I knew we were all in very safe hands with our club coaches. So, after a bit of ferry gliding to warm up and a deep breath off we went. There were plenty of rocks above and below the water to catch you out along the way if you were not focused. We did lots of eddy hopping and paddled through a few interesting features. I did get myself into a bit of a situation at one point and after hanging onto a big branch across the river I managed to grab my paddle, listen to the coaches and safely get myself off the branch and paddle down to the next eddy. After a few minutes to catch my breath we were off again paddling.Then a short portage and on to the finish point where we met up with the other group. Most of us got out there leaving Ed, Connor, Elise, Adam H, Jackie O, James and Ollie to paddle the next section of the river. It was a really good paddle and we all came off the water smiling. The group that paddled Lake Bala all had a good day too and practised some of their skills. Beth and Ekrem waded into the cold water after the paddle to test out their new drysuits. Back at the hostel we were met by Carlos and Helen who managed to make it that day. Quick showers all round and time to eat. There was a variety of homemade food and cakes, brownies etc that some people had made and brought along to share. Lots of eating, chilling and chatting to end a great day. Sunday, we all had a good breakfast and it was decided after a few options that most of us would to go for a walk as it was a chilly but sunny day along the canal up to Horseshoe falls. We stopped off at Chainbridge to watch a few paddlers coming down the river. Some of us had coffees and a few walked to the pub for a beer. Time then for a quick stop off at the canoe and Kayak shop before heading off on the long journey home. Its safe to say we all had a great weekend paddling and socialising, Thank you to all our great club coaches, who once again guided and supported others. If it wasn’t for you guys the weekend would not be able to happen. Now time to get the hostel booked for next years Llangollen adventure! Claire

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